Quarantine Diaries XXXXXIV
Thursday May 21st 2020
This may sound a bit odd considering this was actually the timescale we were originally given back in March, but with all the ups and downs of conflicting information and inconsistent messaging, as well as my own fits of panic and fearing the worst, the end of lockdown (or Phase Two reopening as I think we’re officially calling it) suddenly seems to have arrived rather quickly. Having gone through the mental processes to prepare myself for continued isolation, going into reverse, as it were, brings with it the inevitable moment of taking stock. What have I achieved in the last two months? And what should I have achieved? This is the moment that I start horribly guilt-tripping myself about not completing an online course or learning a new language. That I start to envision to ‘what did you do during the pandemic?’ conversations where everyone else goes through their long list of achievements and all I have to offer is being able to cook up a mean potato gratin and some Tiny Pies. Oh dear god, it’s like starting university all over again and having to think up new and inventive excuses when it’s your turn to say what you got in your bloody A Levels. And yes, I know that really, getting out of all this with one’s health and the health of one’s loved ones is more than enough. And yes, I am so grateful. I really am. Sadly, that doesn’t stop the part of my brain that’s loaded with perfectionism and imposter syndrome from revving it’s stupid little engine and ticking me off for not writing a novel or mastering sourdough or starting Cicerone or reinventing the sodding wheel. Ah yes, hello real world! Welcome back! One thing I am really glad about is having these diaries to look back on, so that when it does all get too much I can remember with clarity the raw terror, the simple need to get from one day to the next, that it really was bad and scary, and that even if I didn’t manage much else, I did manage that. And if there is a second wave and we all end up back here again, then at least I will have a manual.
Champion Trustafarian DIPA
I’m always happy to find Champion beers here in Texas and gutted we weren’t able to get to their taproom on our visit to Charlottesville, although this does incentivise us to go back! I found the light honey-haze texture of this super-smooth DIPA really pleasing on the palate and a quick scan of the tasting notes confirmed the presence of Mandarina Bavaria which seems to be my new favourite hop, and it’s popping up all over the place at the moment which is working out great for me. After a day of drinking beers that didn’t quite live up to expectations, this was an absolute breath of fresh, lightly sweet, firmly hoppy air, and although we did try to savour it as it deserved, it was just too scoffable (I’m bored of crushable so scoffable it is). Oh, and it has a hilarious name. Win!